tv Way Too Early With Willie Geist MSNBC January 4, 2012 5:30am-6:00am EST
wins. we're going to change the white house and get america back on track. >> eight votes, that is mitt romney's winning margin over rick santorum in iowa. the winner wasn't there until three hours ago. the iowa caucuses much about expectations and momentum. who was the winner? good morning. i'm willy geist. this is a special edition of "way too early" live at the 2012 iowa caucuses. we're here again this morning at java joe's. let's get to the results live at 4. in des moines. no one could have imagined just eight votes would separate the top two contenders in iowa's republican caucuses. in a nail biting count that lasted into the early hoursst morning, today mitt romney can claim victory at least by the numbers in the first big test of
the 2012 presidential election. the win may be his but all signs now point to a tough fight with a late surging rick santorum at the top of the pack. romney and santorum claimed 25% of the vote. ron paul in third place in the caucuses followed by newt gingrich. after a disappointing fifth place finish, rick perry said he's going back home to texas to "reassess his campaign." michelle bachmann finished behind perry in sixth place but remains a candidate for now. in such a close race, romney and santorum won 11 delegates. ron paul leads with three of the hawk eye state's total of 25. none of those have been allocated yet. when the race was still close to call, romney framed the caucus as a great victory for his campaign as well as rick santorum and ron paul. the former massachusetts governor focused attacks on president obama striking a
similar tone. >> you were working and i'm working and we're all working together because of our passion for this country and our concern that is being led by a president who may be a nice guy but just is over his head. almost everything the president's done has made it harder for businesses to grow and to hire and to put people back to work. you know, he said three years ago that after being inaugurated he was on the today show and he said, look, if i can't get this dme turned around in three years, i'll be looking at a one-term proposition. and we are here dloekt. let me tell you. >> and perhaps the most high profile address of his political career, rick santorum gave a long speech highlight his family focus. >> people have asked me how i've done this sitting back at the polls and not getting a whole lot of attention paid to us. how did you keep going out to iowa in 99 counties and 381 town hall meetings and speeches? well, every morning when i was getting up in the morning to
take on that challenge, i've required strength from another particular friendship, one that is sacred. i've survived the challenges so far by the daily grace that comes from god. forgiving me his grace every day, for loving me, warts and all, i offer a public thanks to god. >> santorum cast himself as a candidate best positioned to appeal to struggling blue collar voters in the general election. >> if we have someone who can go out to western pennsylvania and ohio and michigan and indiana and wisconsin and iowa and missouri and appeal to the voters that have been left behind by a democratic party that wants to make them dependent instead of valuing their work, we'll win this election. those are the same people that president obama talked about who cling to their guns and their
bibles. thank god they do. all right. to help us make sense of all this let's bring in senior political analyst mark halpern and mike allen. i appreciate you both being here. mark, expectations a funny thing. mitt romney sought to lower expectations over the last several months. brought them up again the last couple weeks by playing so big in iowa. so an eight-point win is a win. but the story this morning, anyway, is rick santorum. >> well, it is. this gives rick santorum as good a chance as anybody else right now to stop mitt romney. but it doesn't mean it's easy. romney is almost certainly going to win new hampshire. it's a very big lead there now. the trick is can someone come out of new hampshire able to beat him in south carolina? if he wins iowa and new hampshire and south carolina, i don't think he is stoppable. i don't think he is stoppable now in new hampshire. so rick santorum has to figure out a way go from almost nowhere in new hampshire now to strong
enough to then beat him in south carolina. it's going to be hard for him. huntsman has a chance. gingrich has a chance to do it. mitt romney, as we say, did what he needed to do here in order to position himself to be the nominee maybe before the state of the union. >> mike, how does the romney camp feel this morning from the people you talked to? i think they expected perhaps a bigger win. >> that's true. they're happy that it's rick santorum. they would rather have it be him or newt gingrich or rick perry who could eventually go the distance. they feel confident this will have a happy ending for mitt romney. we thought this might be pretty clear a week from today after new hampshire. now that's not true. rick santorum signalling last night, he's going to be very tough even before he went out and before he gave that great game on quote. he said fund-raising letter where he said that mitt romney would lose to barack obama. so he's going straight at romney.
the undercard is fighting with each other. hasn't really been going after mitt romney. rick santorum now knows that's his target. these two debate this is weekend including one sunday here on nbc "meet the press" are going to be jui juicy. >> santorum will get help from gingrich. nbc interviewed 700 republicans arriving at the caucuses last night. these are polls looking at the key demographics for each of the top three candidates. for mitt romney, electability is a critical factor. he got the support of 48% of voters who said beating president obama in november was their number one issue. romney alsoattracted those making more than $100,000 a year. rick santorum supporters said their number one issue is abortion. they were looking for a candidate where a strong moral character. mark, i was out at a caucus site
in altoona yesterday. they said we need someone that can defeat barack obama. they had different ideas about who that was. but that is the theme in this race. they have to get someone out there who can defeat the president. >> bun >> obama built a strong campaign structure in iowa and took it nationally. they say he knows how to run a campaign. we can trust him to win back the white house for us. rick santorum amongst the many challenges he faces now is can he show republicans he can build the kind of structure of the scale that is going to take republicans to beat the president. that's bag challenge for him now. mitt romney in iowa and nationally amongst republicans owns the issue. who is electable? >> what does this mean for rick santorum in terms of money? in terms of support? he can create an infrastructure he didn't have up to this point that could push through new hampshire and south carolina and on to florida and be a legitimate contender? >> millions of dollars are going to pour into rick santorum
today. you have to pause and think about how astonishing this is. this could be the gore run for its money. watching this through the night's 19 votes, 33 votes for a long time. it looked like rick santorum would wind up with a hair ahead. if you look at a map wof where e did well, it is the rural counties. we dismissed that a little bit. it's what you do when you can't build a big event, right? you go to small bets. but that turned out to really pay out for them. the people turn out for him and one of the most fascinating statistics in that survey is that a third of the people coming to this caucus were new, were not there in '08. >> newt gingrich leaves iowa now with one clear objective and that's to attack mitt romney at every corner. he is make nothing secret about that now with his fourth place finish in the caucuses, the former house speaker says he'll hold nothing back when it comes to the next phase in this race.
>> i want to take just a minute and congratulate a good friend of ours, somebody who we admire and family we admire and that is rick santorum. i admire the courage, discipline, the way he focused. and i also admire how positive he was. i wish i could say that for all the candidates. one other great debaten that is whether this party wants a reagan conservative who helped change washington in the 1980s with ronald reagan and helped change washington in the 1990s as speaker of the house, somebody who is into changing washington or we want a massachusetts moderate who, in fact, will be pretty good at managing the decay that has given no evidence in his years in massachusetts of any ability to change the culture or change the political structure or change the government. let me be clear. i think it's important given all the things that were done in this state over the last few weeks. we are not going to go out and
run nasty ads. we're not going to run 30-second gotcha ads. but, i do reserve the right to tell the truth. and if the truth seems negative, that may be more a comment on his record than it is on on politics. >> to underscore that point, gingrich has taken out a full page ad in today's new hampshire leader calling romney a "timid massachusetts moderate." the ad says only a bold reagan conservative can defeat president obama. gingrich's print campaign will be back up by a series of television ads in the state comparing the two candidates' records d we hear last night a beginning of the circling of the wagons of conservatives? you had newt gingrich coming out the first thing he said was congratulations rick santorum. in other words, we need to get together to defeat mitt romney.
>> that would certainly be give the conservative movement that doesn't like romney a better chance at beating him if they could coalesce. doesn't look like gingrich is getting out and michelle bachmann does not appear to be getting out. we'll see what factor she can be. the bigger thing is that gingrich is running as the color candidate and mitt romney is black and white. people in america, they love color. >> they do. they do. i found that on my travels. mike, what does this mean? newt gingrich is going to help rick santorum in new hampshire and going forward. is gingrich still a player in the race or does he become an x factor for someone else like rick santorum? >> we see he's angry and going to take it out on mitt romney. very unhappy in this spot. and i think he's going to be a big player in south carolina which i think now -- south carolina now is more important than new hampshire. new hampshire is going to be colorful. they'll get lots of coverage. but we know the outcome of that. mitt romney is going to win that certainly. the outcome of south carolina, very much in doubt.
i think that rick santorum has already made his first mistake. he announced he's going to spend six of the next seven days in new hampshire. mark, shouldn't he be spending the days in south carolina? >> it's a tough call. john mccain aendorsing mitt romney today. mitt romney already has the endorsement of nicky haley. i predict we'll see other people, maybe lindsey gram from south carolina endorsing romney as well. that means that people are going to have to find a way to beat him in south carolina. s it's true that gingrich and santorum are likely to attack each other. they don't have a lot of money to spend on tv ads. they have to find a way to work together but both of them still want to win. so at some point they're going to have to differentiate as well. and that's good for romney. but he got 25% here. he's going to have to get more than that next time in south carolina with rick perry out of the race. i think he can do it. it's not a sure thing. >> mike, as i walked out of the caucus site last night, i
grabbed this as a potential collector's item. rick perry says he's going back to assess the campaign. he is finished? >> yes. you would not go to texas. you have to keep your foot on the gas if you have any hope in new hampshire. he has $3 million left. they had planned to go on. but they're very disappointed by this fifth place finish. they really believe they were going to finish ahead of newt gingrich, fourth place crushing. >> so we'll hear something today, tomorrow perhaps? >> i think it will league to today, official tomorrow. >> thanks so much for waking up early fl we'll see more of you on "morning joe." still ahead here on "way too early," john stewart and the daily show return from a long winter's nap with a view of this republican field. you will see that clip later. plus, i spent the night at a caucus site inial toon yashgs 12 miles from here. you'll hear straight from the vote berz why they went for romney and santorum. that story and highlights of another overtime bowl game and a check on weather all when "way
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welcome back to java joe's in des moines, iowa. if you're just waking up, mitt romney won a vuictory by the narrowest of margins dpeeting rick santorum by eight, count them, eight votes. much more on that in just a moment. let's head back to new york for a check on the weather with nbc meteorologist bill karins. bill, good morning. >> good morning. how crazy is that? four romney voters flipped, it would have been a tie. pretty crazy.
amazing stuff out there. as far as what we're dealing out there weatherwise, there is not much to talk about except cold. plain old down right midwinter cold. even florida is shivering this morning. the freeze line all the way down to orlando. the oranges and strawberries will be just fine. miami at 44. wind chill from filly to new york to hartford is at 2. boston, minus 7. it's the coldest winter so far. so the kids at the bus stop this morning, it's going to be a tough one, even just getting in your car and waiting for it to warm up. the midwest is nice where you are. new england today, we're going to struggle into the 20s. the midwest, kansas city and des moines, you should jump up into the 40s. so the cold spell is overwith for much of the midwest. back to you. >> yeah, the weather is beautiful today. >> yet another great bowl game last night. just imagine if all these overtime thrillers actually meant something.
play-off leads. virginia tech in the sugar bowl in new orleans. pick it up in the second quarter. michigan down 6-0. robinson, great quarterback, scrambles to the right. finds junior hemingway for a - 45-yard touchdown. hemingway comes down with it. a fumble on the ensuing kickoff. wolverines then try a fake field goal. the holder passes the ball and deflected and center jarrod landa comes down it with. the big fellow. michigan could not get a touchdown but added three more points for a 10-6 halftime lead. virginia tech going for a two-point conversion to tight game in the fourth. logan thomas, a good quarterback, hits marcus davis. tied at 17. both teams tack on field goal to send things in overtime. thomas throws a 20 yard pass in the end zone and goes for an amazing diving catch. replay shows the spectacular one
handed grab initially ruled a touchdown but overruled. they overturned that. that is a tough call. overturned it on review saying that his shoulder hit the sideline as he came down and didn't have control. thought it was a touchdown. the kicker justin meyer misses a 37 yarder. brandon gibbons, he's going to drill a 37 yarder. that gives michigan the win and a great season. michigan wins the sugar bowl 23-20 despite putting up less than half the yards of virginia tech. the new michigan coach 11 wins in his first season. coming up at the top of the hour on "morning joe," mitt romney, one ye won here in iowa by the skin of his teeth. did he really win? rick santorum heads on to south carolina with a head of steam. [ male announcer ] juice drink too watery?
welcome back to "way too early" live this morning from java joe's in des moines n 2008, mitt romney left the state of iowa disappointed after a tough second place finish. last night he narrowly came out on top. the votes were identical to what it was four years ago. tell your friends that last night mitt romney received just six fewer votes in the iowa caucuses than did he in the 2008 contest. in 2008, mike huckabee won the state with 40,954 votes. i spent the night last night at the caulkies site in altoona, iowa, suburb bf 15,000 people some 20 minutes outside of des moines. altoona precincts one and two sat in separate parts of the gym and the gathered crowd listened to pitches for the candidates before casting their ballots very simply with a little slip of pape eastern mini number two
pencil. the votes were tabulated by hand in the hallway and then the winners announced back inside the gym. precinct one went for ron paul. precinct two went for santorum. he got 42 votes followed by paul with 43 and romney with 27. i talked to the voters as they left the gym last night. many of them talking about their highest priority defeating president obama. >> who did you caucus for tonight? >> mitt romney. >> who did caucus for tonight? >> mitt romney. >> i voted for mitt romney. >> tonight my choice is rick santorum. >> rick santorum. >> the biggest thing he is lektability. that is between santorum and mitt romney. i chose romney at the very end. >> what do you like about romney? >> i like the lektability. >> governor romney can raise $3 billion. i think he can match obama dollar for dollar. i believe he can definitely defeat mr. obama. >> what is it about mitt romney that attracted you? >> i think like his family values. i just feel like maybe he could
be the one to beat obama. he might be the best at get along in washington. >> and he's the guy who can win? that seems to be the overarching argument tonight, right? >> right. >> if santorum come out and be the nominee, do you think he can beat president obama? >> i think. so. >> and santorum won in precinct two. >> i could live with rick santorum. >> do you believe he can defeat president obama? >> i hope he can. yes. yeah, i do. he is one of america's choices and his ideals and his beliefs. >> and is rick santorum a candidate you're happy with, somebody you can live with to take on president obama? >> yes. i can. i can. >> what is about it him that you like? >> i think he's got christian conservative values. and that's important to me. and standing against abortion is important to me. but i also think he can take on the economic issues. >> as i said, pri sinkt two went
for rick santorum but they talked about the need to defeat president obama. in fact, last night they had the number of days until the end of president obama's term, 307. we'll be back her here live from java joe's. progresso. it fits! fantastic! [ man ] pro-gresso they fit! okay-y... okay??? i've been eating progresso and now my favorite old jeans...fit.
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